When Lewis Hamilton was at McLaren he got a tonne of free hours out of Bombardier, but seemingly that deal has come to an end. Now he’s sunk £20 mil into his own Challenger 605, and the investment includes an eye-catching red and black paint job.
“Every plane is boring white or with this really sad brown stripe down the side. What were they thinking?” asks Lewis.
I agree. You can’t order a prêt-a-porter jet. Unless you’re the CIA on a rendition flight to Guantanamo, where’s the harm in standing out? I think I’d go the extra mile and paint a naked lady on the tail fin, like Larry Flint has done with his black-and-gold G4. Or go the psychedelic 747 route, a la Austin Powers.
Lewis’s Challenger is much bigger than his team-mate’s Citation CJ2. I know this because Nico once pulled up behind a Challenger 601 in which I’d been on a trip for some reason or another. We were at Cranfield Airport. I walked down the stairs and Nico was, like, “what the **** are you doing on that?” To which I replied it simply gets me from A to B. He’s always looked at me with confusion since then.
Lewis isn’t the first F1 driver to get busy with the spray cans. Michael Schumacher’s jet was pretty customized too.